Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blog Log Notes for Sunday, Shemp Howard, The Mummy, etc.

By Doug Gibson

I've been watching more Three Stooges shorts, with an emphasis on assessing "Shemp," the brother who replaced Curly. One reviewer has described Shemp as having a face shaped like a bake potato, but he's more than that. An experienced actor and comedy-man, he was only a slight drop off from Curly and far better than the two who succeeded him, the just-OKs, Joe Besser and Curley Joe DeRita. I wish I could find a copy of the 1950 or so Stooges oater, "The Gold Raiders," via the web. The Stooges have supporting roles to star George O'Brien. The critics love to savage the film, but it's actually quite enjoyable, and lasts less than an hour.

Anyway, above is a Stooges short from 1951, The Tooth Will Out, that includes Shemp. .... I just noticed that as part of its Sunday Silents on Oct. 7, Turner Classic Movies will air "Headin Home," from 1920. The film, which airs at 11 p.m. MST, stars a very young George Herman "Babe" Ruth. That's a must-see. I know that boxing champ Jack Dempsey starred in silent action serials; wonder if any still exist? Afterwards, TCM airs 1932's "Not Against the Flesh," which is the classic Vampyre under another title.

My daughter and I watched The Mummy, with Boris Karloff. What a tremendous acting job by Karloff, who mixes menacing single-mindedness with genuine terror. I love the mid-budget Kharis Mummy films Universal put out in the 40s, but nothing compares to Imhotep! .... Just found out that the Chapman Branch of the Salt Lake City public library system will show "The Beast of Yucca Flats," on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. I wonder if that's a first for the film to have such a show date? It's very cool and I hope I can make it.

Below, enjoy this photo of Shemp Howard!

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